Monday, May 17, 2010

Report from ... Dinner at Mazaar in Windsor, All Canadian Wine Championships - May 17, 2010

It's night one of the All Canadian Wine Championships held in Windsor.  I can't tell you too much about the wines I tried today but I think Ontario will be very excited by the Sparkling wine awards.  My panel tasted through 185 wines this afternoon from Meritage blends to Chardonnays under $25, fruit wines and sweet wines ... palate fatigue finally took hold this evening at dinner.

Tonight's dinner was held at Mazaar, a Lebanese restaurant on Ouellette Avenue, just minutes away from the hotel we are staying at.  The wine flowed fairly freely but I have to admit that things tasted more tannic than they probably were.  The Italian Vinicola Rovera 2004 Cappellacio Aglianico Riserva was all leathery, spicy and bitter; the Cova dels Vins 2006 Ombra from Spain was blackberry, peppery and woody; while the Monte Antico 2006 red blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot had some red fruit smoothness, herbs and a bit of spice. The wine that most impressed was the Domaine Puig-Parahy 2007 Georges from the Cote du Roussillon (Rhone) in France.  This wine is a blend  Grenache, Syrah and Carignana with smells of violets, black fruit, nice spice and pepper notes, palate has much of the above and also supplies some pencil shavings, cinnamon, nutmeg and red fruit on the finish, and as it opened.  Of course the wine would be nothing without some food to go with it, and Mazaar sure gave us plate after plate of interesting and tasty foods ... now I have to admit I did not catch the name of half of the stuff that was layed down on the table so I had to consult the Mazaar webste:

We started with hummus and fresh pita - made in-house (no picture, too busy enjoying that) - then we were given a plate of CHEESE SAMBUSSIK (pictured above) which are pastry shells stuffed with a salty cheese.

Next up a plethora of seafood: shrimp and calamari (pictured above) ... then a Fattoush salad (fresh mix of greens, tomato, cucumber and deep fried pita bread chips in our signature fattoush dressing - not pictured) to clean the palate for the next course - which kept being promised as something special ...

... And it was.  Out came the CHEF’S PLATTER - tenderloin shish kabob, shish tawook, shish kafta and chicken breast shawarma served with traditional rice.  A carnivore's paradise.
Dessert ended up being frozen chocolate-walnut loaf with whipped cream ... decadent and delectable.  Sheila Swerling-Puritt, a fellow judge, had brought along a special dessert wine from Brazil: Reggio di Castela Moscato Giallo "Mistela" - a 17% alcohol sweetie that had the flavours of baked cinnamon apple and poached peaches and pears ... paired very well with the chocolate and the baklava (not pictured)


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